Hispanic Theological Initiative.

Creating and Nurturing a Community of Latina and Latino Scholars.
Through the Combined Efforts of the Consortium Member Schools.
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    Description of PhD Program

    The Graduate Department of Religion, a division within the Graduate School of Vanderbilt University, offers work toward the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in religion. All students enroll in one of nine primary areas: Ethics and Society; Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel; Historical Studies; History and Critical Theories of Religion; Homiletics and Liturgics; Jewish Studies (M.A.); New Testament and Early Christianity; Religion, Psychology, and Culture; Theological Studies. Selected PhD students in all of these areas participate in The Program in Theology and Practice. This unique program seeks to form a generation of professors who are outstanding teachers of people preparing for ministry and groundbreaking scholars in practical theology. The program brings graduate students together with scholars from many disciplines and ministers of many kinds for critical, theological reflection on the lived religion of people and institutions.

    Tuition & Housing Costs

    The tuition rate for graduate students at Vanderbilt is $1782.00 per semester hour, but the GDR covers this cost for all PhD students. Vanderbilt does not offer on-campus housing to graduate students. The average monthly rate for apartment rental in Nashville is $819 per month.

    Financial Aid-Fellowships

    The GDR offers a generous scholarship program to PhD candidates. Every student receives financial aid that includes 100% of tuition costs, a stipend of $20,000, and health insurance for up to 5 years, based upon adequate progress. In addition, the Program in Theology and Practice awards a select number of fellowships each year to students beginning Ph.D. studies in the GDR (Fellowships in Theology and Practice) Fellows may earn their Ph.D. in any of the eight areas in which the Graduate Department of Religion offers the degree. The fellowships immerse students in interdisciplinary study and in regular conversation with experienced practitioners, and offer relationships with mentors, opportunities for vocational reflection, and close ties with a strong cohort of fellow students, and support opportunities to practice teaching for ministry at the Vanderbilt Divinity School and in area theological schools. The fellowships provide full tuition and a yearly stipend of $20,000 for up to six years of study.

    Hispanic/Latino Faculty

    Fernando Segovia
    Oberlin Graduate Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity
    Expertise in Early Christian Origins, Theological Studies, and Cultural Studies

    Hispanic Centers and Programs

    The University’s Center for Latin-American Studies provides numerous opportunities for faculty and graduate students each term.

    Library Resources-Special Collections

    The Jean and Alexander Heard Library provides access to an ample range of resources on Latin America within its general collection.

    Other Resources

    At Vanderbilt, Hispanic students are automatically entitled to participate in the Vanderbilt Association of Hispanic Students. Graduates relate to the Vanderbilt Hispanic Alumni Networks.

    HTI Fellows/Scholars


    Klem-Marí Cajigas Chimelis
    2007-2008 Doctoral 
    2008-2009 Doctoral Renewal Fellow
    2009-2010 Comprehensive Exams Year Fellow
    Juan Escarfuller
    2003-2004 Doctoral 
    2004-2005 Doctoral Renewal Fellow
    2005-2006 Comprehensive Exams Year Fellow
    Leticia Guardiola-Sáenz
    Assistant Professor Christian Scriptures
    Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry
    1998-1999 Dissertation Year Fellow
    Gilberto Medina
    Adjunct Professor
    Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
    1997-1998 Doctoral 
    1999-2000 Dissertation Year Fellow
    Luis Menéndez Antuña
    2013-2014 Dissertation Year Scholar
    Rubén Muñoz-Larrondo
    Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies Andrews University
    2000-2001 Doctoral
    2001-2002 Doctoral Renewal
    2002-2003 Comprehensive Exams Year
    2005-2006 Dissertation Year Fellow
    Lis Valle
    2013-2014 First-Year Doctoral Scholar
    2014-2015 Second-Year Doctoral Scholar
    2015-2016 Comprehensive Exams Year Fellow
    Jonathan Warren
    2009-2010 Second-Year Doctoral  
    2010-2011 Comprehensive Exams Year Fellow

    Contact Information

    The HTI person to contact for information on Ph.D. studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School is:

    Name:                  James P. Byrd
    Title:                     Associate Dean for Graduate Education
    Telephone:          615-343-3976
    Email:                   [email protected]


    Updated March 2015